Western Express Cuts Accident Rate Dramatically  

4 min read

“Improving truck safety has many different layers, and Drivewyze Safety+ has been a major contributor to our success.”

Daniel Patterson

Safety Director

Drivewyze Safety+ as Part of its Solution

Western Express is an asset-based truckload carrier with more than 3,600 power units and 8,500 trailers. Based in Nashville and founded in 1991, the company runs more than 371 million miles annually and operates a diverse fleet that runs flatbed, van and logistics. The company has six hubs and runs coast-to-coast, mostly irregular routes.

The company’s website says it best: “Our mission is to serve the needs of our customers by providing innovative transportation solutions that exceed their needs, while maintaining a profitable business and personal growth of our associates. We strive to do all within our power to keep our associates, our customers, and the public safe.”


Since most of the miles driven by Western Express drivers are irregular routes, there is the challenge of unfamiliar roads, bridges and new customer locations. Each presents its own test as drivers typically see something new every day. While accident rates for Western Express are better than the industry average, the company is committed to continuous improvement when it comes to safety.

The company has three pillars in safety: Awareness, Continuous Training, and Technology. “Those three have to work together,” explained Daniel Patterson, Western Express’ director of safety. “Having them in place pays dividends for our drivers and our company. But moving forward, we were hopeful new technology and training could improve our safety program even further. So, we set an optimistic goal of a 15% reduction in accidents per million miles over a two-year period.”

The challenge for Western Express, as Patterson explained it, was, “What will make the most impact for us? How will drivers respond to that technology? And, what kind of results will the company see?”


Regarding technology, a big part of Western Express’ strategy is using Drivewyze Safety+. According to Patterson, proactive in-cab notifications for upcoming road hazards; the ability to create custom safety notifications; and a portal to track driver behavior and then coach drivers based on results, have helped the company immensely.

When it comes to the custom geo-fencing capabilities of Safety+, Western Express has created more than 350 custom zones, 300 of which are at customer sites.

The company is also using forward-facing cameras and technology to help govern speed on interstates, and when approaching a low bridge.


Patterson didn’t reach his initial goal of a 15% reduction in accident rates; he blew past it. In 24 months, the company achieved a 22% improvement in its accident rate. It has meant lower claims costs, repair bills (Western has its own repair facility), insurance rates, and better customer service – the company has won numerous Carrier of the Year awards from its customers.

With Drivewyze Safety+ and its rollover notifications (which alerts drivers 1000 feet before curves and intersections with significant rollover history), Western Express has seen a 20% reduction in speed when a driver is notified. “Through Drivewyze analytics, we’re 1.6 mph below average in speed as compared to other fleets getting Drivewyze safety notifications,” said Patterson. “That validates to us that the notifications work.”

“We can then deep dive to see where the issue is. We can even identify patterns based on the lane, or the customer. This information is powerful and allows us to implement added safety measures – such as custom messages to our drivers — to corral the problem.”

Daniel Patterson

Safety Director

When law enforcement conducts roadside inspections, Western Express wants to ensure its drivers comply. “In the past, we’ve had inspection sites come up fast on our drivers and they missed pulling in for a brake check as an example. That’s cost us a citation for ‘failure to obey a traffic control device.’ Now, when we know of an area where there is an inspection, we’re quick to add a custom alert through the Drivewyze portal.”

Another area where custom geo-fencing became a solution for Western Express was in developing its own severe weather notifications. In 2022, the company began geo-fencing areas around the country that were experiencing harsh weather that could impact driver safety and deliveries.

“We had heard of the idea from another major fleet that uses Safety+,” said Patterson. “So, our regional teams put together weather alerts and we focused on the major interstates – giving our drivers a heads up on incoming snow for example, or where chains were being required,” recalled Patterson. “All these winter weather alerts we put together helped our drivers – they appreciated the notifications. In the summer, we gave out heat advisories, which was really important for our flatbed drivers. We wanted them to stay hydrated and not have any heat-related health incidents.”

Western Express mentioned the custom alerts to Drivewyze – which spurred Drivewyze to team up with a national weather service to develop Weather alerts for its customers. “Now that there is an automated service available, we’ve gone that route,” said Patterson.

“Drivewyze took what we and others were doing manually and built it out exponentially. It’s something that has an impact on reducing accidents, while making life easier for drivers behind the wheel.”

Daniel Patterson

Safety Director

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